Modular architecture enables efficient integration in an RTOS-independent platform

Paul Boughton

Microchip has announced its 32-bit microcontroller firmware development framework: MPLAB Harmony. This framework is said to be the first to integrate the licensing, resale and support of both Microchip and third-party middleware, drivers, libraries and real-time operating systems.  Currently, Harmony includes third-party offerings from Interniche, freeRTOS, wolfSSL and OpenRTOS, with many more on the way.

The result is that developers can greatly simplify their PIC32 MCU code development process by reducing common integration bugs, thus accelerating time to market.

With the growing complexity of embedded systems, industry studies have shown that software development accounts for 60 per cent of the average design cycle.  At the same time, designers are using a variety of software with untested compatibility and multiple sources of purchasing and support. This causes increased verification and debug time after the design is completed, which can cost 10-30 times more than defects found during the design phase.

Microchip’s new MPLAB Harmony framework reduces development time and costs by providing a single integrated, abstracted and flexible source for Microchip-tested, debugged and interoperable code.

In addition, Harmony provides a modular architecture that enables the efficient integration of multiple drivers, middleware and libraries, while offering an RTOS-independent environment that makes it easy to switch RTOSs.  Not only does this pre-verification and integration speed development, it also increases reuse.

On the hardware side, the Harmony framework makes it even easier to port code and migrate among all of Microchip’s 32-bit PIC32 microcontrollers.  Also, by using this single source for in-house and third-party code (both free and premium) that is supported by Microchip, designers can greatly increase their reaction times to their ever-changing end-market requirements.

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